Splitting the team into two on Saturday, Feb. 2, Pratt High School Forensics managed to come home with trophies from both Sterling and South Barber tournaments. Earning a first place team sweeps at Sterling and a third place sweeps at South Barber, the team also managed to get 16 events into finals at both places.
Pratt brought a strong varsity group to the Sterling meet, where they earned 205 team points over Moundridge with 182 points and Nickerson with 164. They also beat out strong contenders Clearwater, Haven, Hutchinson, Lyons, Smoky Valley and five others.
At South Barber, the mostly novice group came in third to Kingman's second place and to Pretty Prairie's first place. Still, they beat out regional powerhouses Great Bend, Hoisington, Wellington, Medicine Lodge, and Cheney as well as three others.
Pratt went into finals at Sterling with more events than any other team. Qualifying for state champs were Brittnee Hill and Sam Eastes who earned 1-ratings he entire day — a feat which is not often repeated in competitive forensics. In addition, Evan Fowler and Cole Fincham in their first foray into duet acting earned second, as did Sidney Harrison in informative speaking.
Ethan Sharp qualified for festival with his strong third place finish in poetry, while five other events made it to finals: Adele Loomis (Oration), Anna Stryker (Informative), and Joseph Loomis (Extemporaneous Speaking) all at fifth place, and Jacob Schaefer (Extemp.) who also performed duet with Caleb Hitz for sixth place in both events.
This last event was the surprise of the day. When Hitz' partner didn't make it to the 6 a.m. bus, Schaefer jumped into memorize the duet on the ride to Sterling. On a wing and a prayer, the two performed well throughout the day.
The tournament at South Barber was the first of the year for several varsity competitors, and the first tournament ever for a load of novices. Yet, they performed in a stellar way, with two events qualifying for state championships: junior Quiana Pico in serious solo, and newcomer freshman, Miranda Flemming, with oration.
Also making it into finals were the following novices. Freshman Katie Buhler, in her first tournament ever, made it to third in extemporaneous speaking and to fourth in informative speaking. Sophomores Chloe Cannata and Spencer Sullivan earned fifth place medals with their speeches, while freshmen Charity Violetti and Caley Nickelson earned sixth in Improvised Duet Acting.
Adding points to Pratt's strong showing at both tournaments were Corbyn Crump, Cambry Schrag, Anna Stotts, Haley Wolfe (seniors); Johnathon Hurt, Garrett Johnston, Dustin McGraw, Kindra Miller, Rebekkah Wald (juniors); Courtney Blankenship, Elee Hampton, Zach Stone, Taylor Willard (sophomores); Vanessa Aguirre, Haillee Colerick, Emma Fowler, Dani Grey, Hazen Hance, David Schotte (freshmen).